Buy a piece of the Bombers? Idea has merit, says mayor

As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers flounder through another dismal season, there is renewed talk about restructuring the club's governance to give fans a say in how it's run.
As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers flounder through another dismal season, there is renewed talk about restructuring the club's governance to give fans a say in how it's run. 1:57

As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers flounder through another dismal season, there is renewed talk about restructuring the club's governance to give fans a say in how it's run. 

Mayor Sam Katz said he and Premier Greg Selinger had talked three years ago about allowing the public to buy shares in the club.

Now, the topic has reared its head again.

The bumbling, fumbling Bombers' season has raised the idea of whether there is a different way to manage the team, with fans getting more say. (Fred Greenslade/Reuters)

"When a team is doing great, you don't hear much negativity. When a team isn't doing great, these kind of things do pop up," Katz told reporters on Thursday.

Other CFL and NFL teams have fans vote on board appointments and Katz said it's an idea worth considering, though he added it's only dialogue at this point.

"I don't think you can say it would work better, or it would work worse, but I think that model certainly has a lot of benefit. There's no question about it," he said.

"The public is always asking, 'how are we truly involved?' This way the public would actually have the opportunity.

"So it accomplishes two goals. One: you can actually raise money because anybody would want to buy shares and own a piece of the Bombers," Katz added. "Number 2: that way you truly get all citizens involved. So it definitely has merit."

In a statement issued Thursday, a spokesperson for Selinger said Blue Bombers fans have stuck with their team through good times and bad.

At the same time, "The premier believes it only makes sense for the Bombers to consider options that would provide the best fans in the league with a direct say in the future of their team," the statement read in part.

"There are examples in the CFL and NFL where fans have the opportunity to vote on board appointments."

The 2-11 Bombers play again Saturday night in Calgary against the 10-3 Stampeders.

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